Parts of the Mass (3)

Today, I’m going to talk about the third part of the Mass.

3. Liturgy of the Eucharist

Presentation of the Gifts: Representatives of the congregation bring forth the bread and wine that will become the Body and Blood of Christ. The ushers bring forth the collection.

The Eucharistic CelebrationPreparation of the Altar: The altar servers bring the Roman Missal (book with prayers), chalices (cups for wine), ciboriums (vessels with hosts), bread, wine, and water to the altar. The deacon or the priest pours wine into the chalices and adds a drop of water into the celebrant’s chalice. This mingling of water and wine signifies the union of Christ’s divinity and humanity.

Eucharistic Prayer: This is the center and high point of the entire celebration. In this prayer, the celebrant acts in the person of Christ as head of his body, the Church. It includes the following eight elements:

  • Preface: The priest glorifies God the Father and gives thanks to him for the whole work of salvation. This prayer begins with the dialogue: “The Lord be with you.”
  • Acclamation: The Holy, Holy, Holy or Sanctus is sung by the whole assembly.
  • Epiclesis: This is a prayer petitioning the Father to send the Holy Spirit to sanctify the offerings of bread and wine so that they become the Body and Blood of Christ. At this moment, the priest extends his hands over the offerings.
  • Institution Narrative and Consecration: The priest prays the Lord’s words of institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper. Through this prayer the bread and wine become the risen Body and Blood of Christ.
  • Anamnesis: From the Greek, meaning "remembrance." In this part of the Eucharistic prayer, the Church calls to mind the Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ Jesus.
  • Oblation: In this prayer, the Church offers the unblemished sacrificial victim to the Father.
  • Intercessions: The Eucharist is celebrated in communion with the whole Church. Therefore, in this prayer the living and the dead members of the Church are remembered, including the Pope, the local bishop, the clergy, the faithful, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the saints.
  • Doxology: This is a prayer that gives glory to God in the three divine persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Eucharistic prayer ends with the priest glorifying God by saying, “Through him, and with him, and in Him..." and the congregation responding, "Amen."

Information based on the Roman Missal and the General Instruction of the Roman Missal.

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